Refuges in the SELA Complex
Bayou Sauvage
Bayou Teche
Big Branch Marsh
Bogue Chitto
Refuge Locations

SELA Refuges Programs

Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge

Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1980 and encompasses 36,000 acres of the Pearl River Basin. Located northeast of Slidell, LA, this beautiful southern swampland is one of the least disturbed in the country.

Directions to the Refuge: From the Louisiana Side: To reach the southern tip of the refuge, take I-59 to Pearl River Turnaround Exit 11. Heading east from this exit takes you to a fishing area, turning west will take you toward the Holmes Bayou Trail. NOTE: as of July, 2013, the maintenance of the Holmes Bayou trail will be suspended indefinitely due to lack of funds. The Refuge can also be accessed from Locks 1, 2, &

Photo of a cypress swamp with green duck weed floating on the surface of the water

© Tom Carlisle

3 by taking Highway 41 north of Slidell.

Mississippi Side: To reach the furthermost East side of the Refuge, take I-59 North to Picayune, MS. Take HWY 43 to Walkiah Bluff Water Park or to Dumas Wise Road to access the Refuge.

Contact information for all the refuges can be found on the Contact Us page.

See the downloadable refuge maps in the table below.

Endangered and Threatened Species on the Refuge: Ringed-sawback turtle, American alligator, gopher tortoise, inflated heel-splitter mussel and the Gulf sturgeon. The swallow-tailed kite is a species of special concern on Bogue Chitto NWR. The American alligator was de-listed as an endangered species in 1987 but remains listed as threatened due to similarity in appearance to the endangered American crocodile. The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was de-listed as a threatened species in 2007. Bald eagles visit the refuge each year.

Gulf Sturgeon
Gulf Sturgeon, USFWS

Inflated Heelsplitter Mussel

Ringed Sawback Turtle
Ringed Sawback Turtle, LA Natural Heritage Program,

Other Wildlife Species: Deer, turkey, neo-tropical birds, rabbit, raccoon, a variety of snakes, mink, skunks, wading birds and waterfowl. The refuge has partnered with Cornell university and Google to provide a list of bird sightings reported on ebird. Below is a link to most recent sightings. Click on the refuge name in the gadget below to see historical monthly refuge bird sightings.

Habitat Description: Bogue Chitto NWR is a bottomland hardwood forest consisting of a number of sloughs and bayous. The production of valuable wildlife foods is dependent on the varying degrees of inundation during the growing season. A variety of woody plant species occur in these periodically flooded areas, and all exhibit some degree of survival in soils which are inadequately drained and aerated. Commonly recognized habitats include the bald cypress and water tupelo communities associated with longer periods of flooding to the live oak and pine forest communities on the higher ground.

Interesting Facts: Bogue Chitto is unique in that the refuge extends through two states, Mississippi and Louisiana. Bogue Chitto means "Large Stream" as described by the Choctaw Indians.

Photo of a man planting longleaf pine seedlings at the refuge
© Tom Carlisle

Management Goals: Preservation and enhancement of habitat, endangered species management, environmental education, and compatible wildlife-oriented recreation.

A Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for Bogue Chitto NWR may be downloaded from the FWS Southeast Region web site here.

Opportunities for Public Use: Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, hiking, camping, birding, photography and canoeing. See the documents below for additional information, maps and brochures. All hunters must read, sign and have in their possession a Refuge Hunting Permit as found on the front of the Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure.

Notice : Bogue Chitto NWR is closed to hunting (except waterfowl) and camping when the water level at the Pearl River, LA station is at 15.5 feet or higher. The US Geological Survey (USGS) river level gauge reading can be found here.

Events: Calling young anglers... join us for the annual Youth Fishing Rodeo on June 4, 2016 at the Pearl River Turnaround, Exit 11 off I-59. Up to 175 registered participants from ages 4 to 12 years old will enjoy a Fishing Rodeo with prizes for longest fish; and age group winners for longest catfish, longest bream, and most unusual fish. Download a registration form or call 985-882-2000 for more information. The event occurs each year in celebration and coordination with National Fishing and Boating Week.

The refuge and volunteers constructed a new boardwalk and fishing pier around the back side of the fishing pond. Grand opening was June 7th, 2014.

Photo of a new boardwalk

Documents, maps and brochures related to the refuge can be found here.

Document Name
Click to Open or Download
Refuge Fact Sheet
Additional information about the refuge
Download refuge fact sheet here
Refuge Bird List Brochure
Checklist of birds commonly found on the refuge
2.6 MB
Download refuge fact sheet here
Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations
Hunting and fishing regulations, refuge hunting permit and map of the refuge
2.6 MB
Download refuge hunting and fishing brochure and hunting permit here
Refuge Aerial Photo (North Side)
This 2012 full-size map can be viewed and zoomed when downloaded
3.8 mb
Download 2010 Fishing Event Registration Form here
Refuge Aerial Photo (Middle Portion)
This 2012 full-size map can be viewed and zoomed when downloaded
3.8 mb
Download Fishing Event Info Sheet here
Refuge Aerial Photo (South Side)
This 2012 full-size map can be viewed and zoomed when downloaded
8.6 mb
Download Fishing Event Info Sheet here
Large Format Refuge Map
This 2014 full-size map size 24" x 42" is available for purchase from Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges at the Bayou Lacombe Center
3.8 mb
Download Fishing Event Info Sheet here
Refuge Boundary File
This file will load on your Google Earth TM software

While the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service makes every effort to represent the
data shown on these maps as completely and accurately as possible (given existing time and resource constraints), the USFWS gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data. In addition, the USFWS shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein. Graphical representations provided by the use of this data do not represent any legal description of the data herein and are provided only as a general representation of the data.

80 kb

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This is the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge home page. It is accessible from all the pages in the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) Refuges Complex web site in the menu on the left.

There are eight National Wildlife Refuges in the SELA Refuges Complex. The mission of these refuges and the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of  lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Each of the programs in the SELA Refuges Complex also has a page. Each of the programs is accessible from all the pages in the SELA Refuges Complex web site in a menu on the left side or near the bottom of the page.

Last Updated on August 7, 2013